"Kansas" tag

Wildcats, Wolverines set to meet in the desert

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Kansas State followed up last year’s BCS bowl run with a thud, opening the season with a loss to FCS school North Dakota State at home.It didn’t get much better after that, with three more losses over the next five games, leaving the Wildcats not only out of the BCS bowl picture but in danger of missing the postseason altogether.Then something clicked.Kicking its offense into another, high-scoring gear, Kansas State (7-5) reeled off five wins in its final six games to earn a spot in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Michigan on Saturday night.”They learned a little bit about how to practice, how to prepare,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. ”It’s something that they probably took for granted at the outside of the season. I think they finally said, ‘Hey, let’s do it the right way.”’Michigan (7-5) finished with the same record as the Wildcats but headed in the wrong direction as the season progressed.The Wolverines opened with five straight victories, including a win over Notre Dame in their second game.Michigan stumbled to the finish, though, losing five of its final seven.Other than a 29-6 loss to Michigan State, the Wolverines were in every game but just couldn’t finish things off.”No question, this football team is 11 points away from being 11-1,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. ”We haven’t finished games and executed the way we needed to at the end of the games.”Here are five things to watch for in the Buffalo Wings Bowl:—MICHIGAN’S QB: The Wolverines were hit with a huge blow when quarterback Devin Gardner hurt his toe in their regular-season finale against Ohio State. Gardner, who’s thrown for over 4,000 yards and 32 touchdowns the past two seasons, aggravated the injury last week and is out for the bowl game, leaving Michigan in the hands of freshman Shane Morris. He attempted nine passes in three games this season and played just four games as a high school senior because of mononucleosis.K-STATE’S TWO QBs: Instead of trying to replace Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein with one quarterback, Snyder has gone with a two-headed approach. Junior Jake Waters is the thrower, accounting for 2,198 yards and 15 touchdowns passing. Sophomore Daniel Sams is the runner, rushing for 784 yards and 11 TDs. Snyder doesn’t typically like to use two quarterbacks, but he believes Waters and Sams together give the Wildcats the best chance to win.STOPPING MUELLER: With a freshman starting his first game at quarterback, Michigan will want to keep Kansas State from knocking Morris around and possibly rattling him early. Doing that will start with slowing down Wildcats defensive end Ryan Mueller. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound junior was a walk-on in 2010 who developed into one of the nation’s most disruptive defensive linemen. Mueller finished the season sixth nationally with 11 sacks and was seventh with 18.5 tackles for loss.BOWL WOES: Snyder orchestrated one of college football’s biggest turnarounds his first stint in the Little Apple and got the Wildcats back on track when he came out of retirement in 2009. One thing he hasn’t been able to do, at least recently, is win bowl games. Kansas State enters the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on a five-game postseason losing streak that includes a 35-17 loss to Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl a year ago in the desert. The Wildcats haven’t won a bowl game since scoring in the final 90 seconds to beat Arizona State in the 2002 Holiday Bowl.GO-TO GALLON: Fifth-year senior Jeremy Gallon has become Michigan’s go-to receiver. After catching 49 passes last season, Gallon had 80 receptions this year, which is 33 more than anyone else on the team. He has 1,284 yards receiving and nine touchdowns and accounted for the Wolverines’ four longest plays from scrimmage, including an 84-yard catch from Gardner against Ohio State.Sports & RecreationAmerican FootballKansas StateMichigan

Selling Okafor on the right system fit

The nation’s top-ranked Class of 2014 recruit Jahlil Okafor cut his list to eight schools Wednesday, with Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State and Ohio State remaining in the mix for the ridiculously talented center. But like every other great post, Okafor will be dependent on a player – primarily the point guard – to deliver the post feed or drop-off pass on time and on target for him to be in the best position to score.

Okafor names final eight schools

The nation’s top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2014 narrowed his list to eight schools on Wednesday. Center Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young) tweeted out his list of finalists by declaring, “In no particular order: My final 8 Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State, Ohio State.” This past season, Okafor helped Whitney Young to the Class 4A sectional finals, where the Dolphins fell to Chicago power Simeon in March.

Wichita St ‘plays angry’ into surprise Final Four (The Associated Press)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gregg Marshall likes to say that Wichita State is a reflection of the town it calls home: a hard-working, blue-collar, nose-to-the-grindstone kind of place. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to imagine the studious-looking coach with the specs perched on his nose reminding his often-overlooked team at halftime against Ohio State to ”play angry,” and the Shockers riding that command to their first Final Four since Lyndon B. Johnson was president. ”First of all, they’re very good people. They let us coach them,” Marshall said shortly after the Shockers’ 70-66 victory over the Buckeyes on Saturday night in Los Angeles. ”They have great character,” Marshall said. ”I mean, there are times when it’s not easy in our practice sessions, (but) they allow us to coach them. The team comes first.” Indeed, there’s no Stephen Curry in this bunch of longshots. There’s no Doug McDermott piling up the …

Top seeds Louisville, Kansas stand in the way of historic All-Big Ten Final Four

There has never been a Final Four comprised entirely by teams from the same conference, but this could be the year it happens. The closest we ever came to having a conference tournament in the Final Four was 1985 when Villanova, Georgetown and St. John’s advanced from the Big East and were joined by Memphis State (now Memphis).

Combine math makes overachievers of Northwestern, Mississippi (Yahoo! Sports)

Ratings for every FBS team: Sagarin rank Combine participation rank Difference 1. Alabama T3 Plus-2 2. Oregon T16 Plus-14 3. Texas A&M T9 Plus-6 4. Georgia T3 Minus-1 5. Notre Dame 6 Plus-1 6. S. Carolina T7 Plus-1 7. Florida 5 Minus-2 8. Kansas State T16 Plus-8 9. Stanford T22 Plus-13 10. LSU T1 Minus-9 11. Fla. State T1 Minus-10 12. Oklahoma T9 Minus-3 13. Ohio State T7 Minus-6 14. Clemson T33 Plus-19 15. Oregon St. T45 Plus-30 16. Texas T33 Plus-17 17. Ok State T45 Plus-28 18. Baylor T45 Plus-27 19. Utah State T45 Plus-26 20. Michigan T64 Plus-44 21. N’western T90 Plus-69 22. Wisconsin T22 Even 23. Nebraska T33 Plus-10 24. Ole Miss T90 Plus-66 25. Vanderbilt T64 Plus-39 26. BYU T45 Plus-19 27. Louisville T64 Plus-47 28. Arizona St. T33 Plus-5 29. SJSU T45 Plus-16 30. Penn State T22 Minus-8 31. UCLA T9 Minus-22 32. TCU T33 Plus-1 33. USC T9 Minus-24 34. Mich. St. T22 Minus-12 35. Cincinnati T22 Minus-14 36. Texas Tech T90 Plus-53 37. Syracuse T22 Minus-16 38. N. Illinois T90 Plus-51 39. Missouri T33 Minus-7 40. Boise State T45 Plus-4 41. Miss State T33 Minus-9 42. UNC T9 Minus-34 43. Arizona T64 Plus-20 44. UCF T90 Plus-45 45. Ga Tech T45 Minus-1 46. Tulsa T90 Plus-43 47. W. Virginia T22 Minus-26 48. Miami T45 Minus…

Losing streak is unfamiliar turf for No. 5 Kansas (The Associated Press)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — After one of his team’s worst performances in years, Bill Self likened the Kansas team he put on the floor Wednesday night to ones fielded by Dr. James Naismith back when the school was playing games against the Topeka YMCA. The fifth-ranked Jayhawks had just lost to Big 12 bottom-dweller TCU, which had been winless in its first eight conference games. And before that was a loss to Oklahoma State that ended a nation-leading 18-game winning streak, and a 33-game run of success at Allen Fieldhouse. Two straight losses? Not much to complain about most places. Most places aren’t like Kansas. ”It hasn’t been our best week we’ve had around here all year,” said Self, whose team had gone 264 games without back-to-back losses. ”I think everybody in every profession goes through rough weeks.” Now tied with rival Kansas State for the Big 12 lead, the Jayhawks (19-3, 7-2) head to Oklahoma on Saturday trying to solve a litany of problems – and trying…

No. 4 junior Mudiay stockpiling offers

The ESPN 60′s No. 4 overall player, point guard Emmanuel Mudiay (Arlington, Texas/Prime Prep Academy), lists 10 offers and seems to be very excited and pleased with who is recruiting him. “I am blessed and thank God I am in this position,” he said. “I have offers from SMU, Baylor, Kentucky, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, Ohio State, Louisville, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.” Mudiay knows what he is looking for in a school and coach and said the right fit is more important than proximity to home.

Buckeyes find their stroke – Ohio State (Rivals)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Following Ohio State’s loss to Kansas, head coach Thad Matta wanted to make a change. But it was the alteration that his players made that was a much more welcome switch for the No. 10-ranked Buckeyes (10-2) in their return to the court.

American U.-Kansas Preview (The Associated Press)

Despite starting alongside four seniors who reached the national championship game last season, Ben McLemore is becoming Kansas’ biggest star. The redshirt freshman and the sixth-ranked Jayhawks return from a week off following their most impressive victory to host American University on Saturday night. With Kansas’ only trip outside its home state through 10 games being a loss to Michigan State in Atlanta, McLemore had never played a true road game going into last Saturday’s visit to then-No. 7 Ohio State. The unfriendly crowd in Columbus clearly didn’t faze the St. Louis native as he scored a game-high 22 points in a 74-66 victory. “I kept my intensity, I just played my game,” McLemore said. The Jayhawks (10-1) led 56-52 with less than seven minutes remaining when McLemore scored six straight points to put his team in control. ” Ben McLemore is as good as any player in the country,” said Buckeyes coach Thad Matta, who also referenced the four senior starters giving …

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